NH 66 bypass development moves at a sluggish pace

The work restarted only recently due to rain and lack of availability of materials and labourers.

Published: 27th August 2018 03:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th August 2018 03:10 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the Southwest monsoon and the floods have put the major roadworks in the state on a backfoot, a major road project in the capital has also been affected. The remaining work of the development of NH 66 bypass from KeraKazhakootam to Karode has begun only recently following rain and the lack of availability of materials and labourers due to the flood across the state for the past several weeks.  

The major work remaining to be completed is the construction of a flyover at Chackai connecting the railway overbridge.

Also Read | Thiruvananthapuram District Collector K Vasuki lauds efforts of people

Earlier, the deadline of the flyover project was fixed at November 2018. The sudden deadlock has forced the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI)  to extend the deadline of completion of the project.
According to a senior officer, NHAI, the construction of the flyover project is expected to be completed only in April 2019. The officer said the girders would be installed once the construction of the pillars is completed.

“Since the flyover project at Chackai and the underpass projects at Venpalavattom, Muttathara have been taken up as separate projects, the deadline has been fixed for April next year.  The widening work from Kazhakoottam to Mukkola have been completed,” the officer said.  

The 1.6 km flyover has been proposed by the NHAI after the government did not approve demolishing the approach road to the Trivandrum International Airport. The flyover, from Chackai Railway Overbridge to Enchakkal, will run parallel to the existing approach road to the airport. The Union government had approved the construction of the flyover by retaining the existing ramps of the airport on the condition the state contributes 50 per cent of the additional cost which will be incurred. To add to the woes, a newly opened shopping mall near the work site, of the Rs 142 crore project, has led the traffic jam to worsen. The ROB at Chackai can be completed once the flyover under-construction is ready.

The laying of Pavement Quality Concrete (PQC) has started from the Mukkola-Karode stretch on Friday. It is a type of concrete used for the construction of rigid pavements where the traffic volume is heavy.
According to NHAI, the concreting has just begun and it is the first road in the state which will be laid on concrete rather than bitumen.  The entire work of the road from Mukkola to Karode is expected to be completed by May next year. The road widening project was started in July 2017 and has seen only a progress of 43 per cent.

Traffic Plan once flyover is ready

As per the proposal, the 19.6-metre wide one-way flyover will have approach roads on either side at Chackai Junction to facilitate the movement of vehicles to Shanghumugham and Palayam. Motorists from Kazhakoottam towards the airport will be able to use the existing road after coming down from the ROB at Chackai junction and then taking a U-turn to enter the approach road to the airport.

While the vehicles coming from Enchakkal can use the existing road and those who are going towards the airport can directly enter the approach road near Ananthapuri Hospital. Meanwhile, the road proceeding from Kochuveli to Anayara in the newly constructed underpass at Venpalavattom has been opened to traffic. However, work including the main road and wall construction is yet to be completed.

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